(Bloomberg) — Russia launched its first massive missile attack in almost a month early Thursday against cities across Ukraine, leaving at least five people dead and causing emergency power cut offs as well as train delays.
The five were killed in their homes near Lviv in western Ukraine as a Russian missile hit a residential area, regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said on Telegram.
This was the 15th large-scale missile attack against the country’s energy infrastructure since since October, according to the national grid operator Ukrenergo. Russia returned to targeting key energy infrastructure as authorities say Ukraine’s grid has already survived through the most difficult part of the winter period.
The capital and major cities such as Kharkiv, Odesa and Zhytomyr reported infrastructure outages in the nationwide attack as energy objects in the country’s seven regions were attacked. Sirens sounded shortly after midnight for more then five hours.
Russia launched Shahed drones and practically all available types of missiles against Ukraine, Kyiv city military administration said on Telegram. The capital’s air defense downed all single-attack drones and cruise missiles. The only one that got through was the Kinzhal missile, which Russia says is a hypersonic weapon.
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Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said explosions rocked the Holosiyivskiy and Svyatoshynskiy districts, adding that two people were injured. About 15% of the capital’s residents were without power because of emergency electricity cuts, he said on Telegram. About 40% of households were left without heating, he added.
Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, and the surrounding region faced at least 15 strikes on critical infrastructure and private homes, local Governor Oleh Synehubov said on Telegram.
According to Odesa authorities, preventive power cuts were also applied in the region. The nation’s railroad company Ukrzaliznytsia said about 15 trains out of more then 90 were running with delays because of the power outages.
The attack disrupted water and power supply to most households in Zhytomyr, a city of more than 250,000 people in northern Ukraine, according to its Mayor Serhiy Sukhomlyn in a Facebook post. The city will have to temporarily halt operation of electricity transport because of lack of power supply, he said.
Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant at Zaporizhzhia lost a power supply after the last communication line was cut off early in the morning because of the shelling, according to Energoatom, the nation’s nuclear agency.
The plant went into so-called blackout mode and diesel generators have been switched on to power the plant’s needs, Energoatom said on Telegram.
—With assistance from Kateryna Choursina.
(Updates with information on attacks in Kyiv and elsewhere)